Analysis of William Lyon Phelp's Article "The Pleasure of Books"

Topics: Language, Personal life, Friendship, Happiness, Human, The Reader / Pages: 3 (591 words) / Published: Feb 26th, 2014
The Pleasure of Books
William Lyon Phelps William Lyon Phelps was a brilliant writer and teacher who treasured books and understood the significance of how the printed word can affect a person. Phelps co-taught at Harvard, and then moved to Yale to teach an English class full time. He was given countless awards for his strong intellect such as Life magazine doing an overview of his whole life, founding the Elizabeth club and more. Phelps had given the speech “The Pleasure of Books” on a radio broadcast in 1933. This speech discusses the importance of books and what role they play in human existence. Phelps uses metaphors and repetition to convince the public that books are a fundamental and essential part of human functions and daily life. Phelps uses metaphors within his speech as a tool to convince the audience of not only the pleasure of books, but the importance of books. While referencing the intimacy that the listener/reader and an old book should have, he connects the revisit of memories going back into a book to visit favorite passages by using a metaphorical bridge “You have the pleasure of going over the old ground, and recalling both the intellectual scenery and your own earlier self.” (Phelps, 1). In this excerpt, he uses going through an old forest and recalling pleasurable memories to going back into a story and finding the older, truer part of ones being. Phelps plays off of the human habit of reminiscing to connect books to memories. Phelps also connects acquaintances and friends to the same intimacy levels that books have “But book-friends have this advantage over living friends; you can enjoy the most truly aristocratic society in the world wherever you want it” (2). Phelps even explains how books are almost better than humans due to easy access and experience. Phelps uses metaphors to create a profile for books that convinces to public of their importance. Phelps uses repetition of certain words to direct certain points about the

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